simplifyNight Owl or Early Bird?

Do you love to wake up before the sun? Maybe you prefer to stay cocooned under the covers until the last minute. Either way you can simplify your morning routine so that you’ll have more time for what you love best.

Personally, I enjoy waking up before everyone else and having quality quiet time. But getting up early doesn’t insure that I’ll have time alone if I don’t take a few steps to simplify my morning the night before.

I hate it when I feel rushed at the beginning of the day. Add kids to the mixture and chaos reigns. For my own sanity, I decided a long time ago to make changes to my evening routine in order to simplify my mornings.

Six Steps To Simplify Your Mornings

  1. Make a list of what you have to accomplish in the morning before you go to work. If you don’t work outside the house, what would you like to do before everyone else wakes up?
  2. Put a star next to anything that you can prepare ahead for. For example, I CAN set up the espresso machine the night before. I can’t have my morning devotional time at night.
  3. simplifyAnalyze the starred items. How many could you accomplish in the evening BEFORE you go to bed? Could you set up the ironing board and iron your clothes whilst watching TV with your family? Perhaps you could load your work bag or backpack with everything you’ll need the following day. You can simplify your mornings by preparing the night before.
  4. Delegate. Our daughters had the responsibility of packing their own school lunches once they entered 5th grade. I provided the food, and they made the choices. The only downside? We only have half of the teaspoons from our silverware set. A small price to pay in exchange for them taking ownership of their lunches.
  5. Prepare yourself mentally. When I come home tired from a long day of wrangling teenagers, I’d rather just curl up in the corner with a good book. Instead, I make a list of what I want to accomplish when I get home. Even when I get up early, if I haven’t prepared myself mentally for working out the night before, I have a difficult time following through.
  6. Commit to just one change at a time. In order to accomplish lasting change, you have to take it slowly. Commit to one morning time saver habit and practice it for a week. Evaluate how it works for you. Add more items from your list as each action turns into a habit.
Losing six teaspoons was a small price to pay in exchange for less morning stress! #simplify Click To Tweet

As you find ways to simplify your mornings by preparing the night before, you’ll discover the delights of starting your day peacefully. Of course, if you have six kids rushing around the house getting ready for school, you may need to help them simplify their routines, too!

Q4U: What do you do in the evening to simplify your morning routine? I’d love to hear what other people do!



  1. I got my bullet journal that keeps me making lovely, colorful notes. It’s a release for me and a good metric of how I’m doing. I like that so far, I’ve committed to it. It’s the easiest way I can keep the past alive before the digital age and recall a sense of control in my life from the days before life became so pixelated.

    1. Believe it or not, I JUST figured out what a ‘bullet journal’ is! I’ve heard people talk about them, and couldn’t figure out what they were talking about. And then I remembered seeing journals with little dots spaced evenly all over the page…and it all clicked. I’ve been thinking about buying one for my to-do lists, because I haven’t found the perfect planner yet!
      Anita recently posted…The Things that Motivate Me to Leave My Comfort ZoneMy Profile

  2. I enjoy getting up early and start working…if I don’t have to leave the house. But since most mornings I have to go to school early, I really timed my routine to not waste any precious sleeping time. 🙂 I prepare everything I need in the evening, like my lunch, and then get up as late as possible. But when I can actually stay home (like today), I enjoy getting up early, having a cup of coffee and slowly start my day.
    Katha recently posted…Let’s keep it simple.My Profile

    1. I haven’t found the perfect planner either, and a bullet journal was too confining for me. So I combine the ideas and have a good, old-fashioned 3-ring binder where I can organize lists and notes. I keep my “daily bullet journal to-do list” on a clipboard for easy access. I start my daily journal to-do list the night before if I’m not too tired since I get up very early.

  3. Good tips to simplify Anita! Some ways I simplify my morning is to make overnight oats, soak any grains that I need to cook, clean and clear the Kitchen sink and counter the previous night. A clean kitchen makes all the difference!

    P.S. Bullet Journals are awesome. I use the technique even if I’m not using the dotted notebooks.
    Alice recently posted…Memory Verse Monday – Week 52My Profile

  4. I work from home so that helps immensely. But I do like load the coffeemaker the night before so all I have to do is hit the on button. Even working from home I do not like to wake up late and not have any personal time at all. Good helps, friend.

  5. Such good advice!

    My father taught me to make my lunch the night before and that practice served me well in school and while I was working outside the home. My mother taught me to select outfits for the week and have them hanging together, complete with jewelry. I have never been a morning person, so things like this make it so much easier for me to get going. If I haven’t put in the effort to prepare beforehand, I just sort of wander around like a zombie.

  6. Well, I am NOT a morning person and now that I’m retired I spend my morning lingering with my coffee. It’s getting myself going that’s sometimes a challenge and where I can apply your great ideas. I vividly remember my life of rushed mornings as a mother, wife, and teacher and some days I miss them, but slower mornings are definitely a gift I’m grateful for!

  7. Oh Anita! Loved this post!

    I am not a morning person. I am an alive at night person, but I work a day job soooo…it is what it is. 🙂 For my mornings to be their best I set up the coffee maker the night before. I don’t use the program button but just fill it up and get it set and then I turn it on just before the shower. I also get my clothes figured out the night before. Unless we have one bear of a storm, I can usually save a good 10 minutes of wasteful staring into the closet. Plus this keeps me from turning on a light in the room which wakes up my husband. I eat the same thing every morning with limited variation so I will also put the pan that I need out on the stove. I think having a routine even in what you eat for breakfast can be a real time saver.

    I do love quiet time in the morning even if I am not a morning person. I am a person who digs her alone time. If I can enjoy a cup of coffee with the news before I sprint out for the day…I am a happy girl!

    Thanks for the tips. It is always nice reading what works for someone else. Have a wonderful weekend!
    Kelly Blackwell recently posted…Simplify – Five Minute FridayMy Profile

  8. Awesome article! I need to follow some of these. I hate waking up in the morning to a dirty kitchen/house, that’s for sure, so I really like the tip about mentally preparing for the tidying-up of the evening.

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Anita Ojeda

Anita Ojeda juggles writing with teaching high school English and history. When she's not lurking in odd places looking for rare birds, you can find her camping with her kids, adventuring with her husband or mountain biking with her students.

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